Business / Economy

Japan was still world's biggest investor at end of 2018, trailed by Germany and China


The net balance of external assets held by the Japanese government, companies and individual investors stood at ¥341.56 trillion ($3.11 trillion) at the end of 2018, remaining the world’s largest for the 28th consecutive year, the Finance Ministry said Friday.

The figure, up 3.7 percent from a year earlier and the second-largest amount on record, reflected increased overseas investment by Japanese companies, according to the ministry.

In the reporting year, Germany was second with ¥260.28 trillion, followed by China with ¥236.08 trillion.

Among components, direct investment in the United States stood at a record-high ¥55.63 trillion. Direct investment in China was also the largest on record, at ¥13.66 trillion.

Japan’s overseas assets edged up 0.5 percent, to ¥1,018.38 trillion, rising for the 10th straight year, supported by mergers and acquisitions by Japanese firms and investment by institutional investors in foreign stocks and bonds.

Overseas liabilities fell 1.1 percent to ¥676.48 trillion, down for the first time in nine years, in line with a drop in prices of Japanese stocks held by foreign investors.

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